This Week in Sports by John W. Lillpop

Without knowing better, one could easily mistake Greg Alan Maddux for an average, work a day sort of guy.

Slight of build, bespectacled, and of modest demeanor, Maddux hardly fits the stereotype of a high-powered athlete with fame and fortune at his beckon call.

In fact, however, Greg Maddux is an icon in major league baseball history by virtue of a professional career that spanned 22 years and graced four different ball clubs. He owns one of the most excellent pitching records compiled in baseball history, as evidenced by the $10 million he earned in 2008 while pitching for the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now, at the ripe old age of 42, this super-star has officially retired from the kid's game that made him rich and famous. He did so on December 8 in his hometown on Las Vegas where major league baseball is holding its winter meetings.

Among Greg Maddux's major accomplishments:

*World Series champion in 1995

*Eighth on the all-time list of career wins with 355 to his credit. (Passed Roger Clemens in 2008.)

*Earned Run Average of 3.16

*10th in career strikeouts

*Four consecutive Cy Young awards, given annually to the best pitcher in each league.

*Eight appearances in baseball's All-Star game.

*17 consecutive seasons in which he won at least 15 games

*Eighteen "Gold Glove" awards for fielding excellence

Maddux credits his wife, Kathy, for allowing him to become one of the greatest pitchers in history.

"I had everything taken care of for me away from the park, so the only time that I had to worry about anything was when I was out at the park," Maddux said in a tribute to his spouse.

The following quotes about and from Greg Maddux from the link below attest to his mastery:


Quotes About Greg Maddux

"He's like a meticulous surgeon out there, he puts the ball where he wants to. You see a pitch inside and wonder, 'Is it the fastball or the cutter?' That's where he's got you." — Tony Gwynn

"Every pitch has a purpose. Sometimes he knows what he's going to throw two pitches ahead. I swear, he makes it look like guys are swinging foam bats against him." — John Smoltz

"Maddux is so good, we should all be wearing tuxedos when he pitches" — scout Phil Favia

"Greg Maddux could put a baseball through a life saver if you asked him." — Joe Morgan

"(He has) talent I've never seen anyone else have. He has a back-door sinker and wisdom to actually outsmart anybody in the game. I'm so glad somebody small, someone looking like me, actually did it. I'm very happy for him and I wish him all the best and I hope he doesn't stop there." — Pedro Martinez, on Maddux's 300th victory

"He was the smartest pitcher I've played with or against." — Ozzie Guillen

"Any pitcher on this team should have the pleasure of parking their butt next to him on the bench during games and learning whatever you can from him and then watching him when he is pitching." — Cubs teammate Ryan Dempster

"He's the definition of pitching. He's not overpowering, he doesn't have tremendous stuff, but he gets it done every day, day in and day out. It's good that I can tell my grandkids that I had the chance to play behind Greg Maddux, the Hall of Famer." — Juan Pierre

Quotes From Greg Maddux

"I could probably throw harder if I wanted, but why? When they're in a jam, a lot of pitchers try to throw harder. Me, I try to locate better."

"You play the game to win the World Series. Cy Young Awards are nice, they really are. They're great and I'm proud of them...but easily the biggest thing I've accomplished is getting that World Series ring."

Greg Maddux Team Affiliations

 Chicago Cubs (1986–1992)
 Atlanta Braves (1993–2003)
 Chicago Cubs (2004–2006)
 Los Angeles Dodgers (2006)
 San Diego Padres (2007–2008)
 Los Angeles Dodgers (2008)

Next Stop for Maddux: Baseball Hall of Fame

Greg Maddux will be eligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in five years.

Because of his remarkable record, Maddux will most certainly be inducted during his first year of eligibility.